The paternal-sex-ratio chromosome of Nasonia

Werren, JH,  American Naturalist,  137:392-402. 1991.

Paternal sex ratio (PSR) is a supernumerary chromosome that is transmitted through sperm to fertilized eggs and then gains a transmission advantage by causing supercondensation of the paternal chromosomes (except itself). Because of haplodiploidy, this converts diploid females into haploid (PSR) males. PSR gains a transmission advantage because the unpaired chromosome has a higher frequency of transmission through male (mitotic) gametngenesis than through female (meiotic) gametogenesis. PSR increases in panmictic populations that produce more than 50% fertilized eggs. PSR frequency is typically reduced by population subdivision because of increased local competition among PSR males and reduced availability of females resulting from PSR action. Genetic and molecular studies of PSR have recently begun. PSR is highly heterochromatic and contains large tandem arrays of repetitive DNA unique to it. PSR apparently acts by “imprinting” the set of paternal chromosomes, resulting in their supercondensation during mitosis. Deletion studies are under way to characterize the genetic basis of PSR action and “protection” from its own action.